Violeta M. Bagia
Over and over until you begin to heal
Sometimes you don’t want to hear, ‘You’ll be okay’. Sometimes you just want to hear that someone is listening.
Too often I’ve seen this with friends and I’ve experienced it myself.
I don’t know which is more disappointing; the dismissiveness of the comment or the lack of knowledge and thought behind it.
‘You’ll be okay.’
Let’s dig a little deeper, the comment is twofold.
First, the supplier of the comment doesn’t have enough emotional intelligence to understand the impact of it and second; the supplier doesn’t want to because it’s too hard and their own life and problems take precedent and let me say, there’s nothing wrong with placing yourself first, in fact I’ve often promoted the fact. Because if you’re not looking after number one, you can’t possibly help anyone else.
But there comes a time, especially when someone in need is asking for help, just look at the rise of ‘R U OK?’ and you’ll see how stigmatic it still is to be mentally unwell and talk about it.
Now everyone’s unwell can be different, everyone is going through something you don’t know about and it’s our duty as friends and family, to listen.
At what point does someone stop reaching out for help? When it’s already so hard to take that first step at what point will that person shut down when they’re constantly hearing ‘You’ll be okay’ and not ‘I’m hearing you’.
I’ve personally learned a long time ago that there are some people who simply do not care and don’t want to open themselves up to it or if they do, they’ll quickly follow up with something that will end the conversation, take it in a different direction or bring it back to themselves.
Understand this, it is not a reflection on you. It is not because you’re talking about something over and over, it is not because you need to get over it. It is because they don’t know what to do or say, it's because they don’t know how to help.
Too often I’ve heard friends tell me they’re all right because they don’t want to keep harping on about the same subject and I keep telling them this is how you heal. You talk about it over and over again until it starts to heal, and then you talk some more because some day, you will be all right, but you don't have to be now. Right now, you don’t want to hear, ‘You’ll be okay’, you want to hear that they’re listening and they’re willing to hear what you’re going through.
And even if it is something you’ve spoken about numerous times, so be it. Keep talking, keep processing and healing. Because if we don’t, the result will only end in sadness.